Orchestras in Pittsburgh, Providence (Rhode Island), and Houston are all set for world premieres this month, beginning on February 17, when Manfred Honeck leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring, an orchestral tone poem in four sections. The commissioned work marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Pittsburgh-area native Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book of the same title. On February 18, the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra will perform Paul English’s Lumière Lunaire, a 23-minute symphony commissioned by the orchestra to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of Schoenberg’s melodrama Pierrot Lunaire. The new work is based on a poem by the conductor JoAnn Falletta; in the piece, English, a jazz pianist, incorporates the Sprechstimme vocal technique frequently used by Schoenberg, with some orchestra members singing as well as playing. On February 25 at The Vets in Providence, Larry Rachleff will lead the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s world premiere of James Stephenson’s Fantasie for Violin and Orchestra, with Alexander Kerr, concertmaster in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, serving as soloist. Also on the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s American-themed program are Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite, Bernstein’s Serenade, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris Suite.
Posted February 16, 2012